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Russia 51, Ukraine 41, Crimea 25, Nato 20, U.s. 16, United States 9, Sochi 8, Moscow 6, Deb 5, New York 5, Europe 5, Obama 5, Kerry 4, Washington 4, Kiev 4, John Kerry 3, The Navy 3, Citi 3, Navy 3, Canada 3,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    Latest on the day's top news stories with a  
   focus on global news, trends and destinations.  

    March 2, 2014
    11:00 - 12:01pm PST  

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brink of disaster as russian troops move to military bases in crimea. prime ministers called it a red alert, said it called russia's military move amounts to a declaration of war. video from crimea shows unmarked crews coming in, unmarked but license plates are russia. it has had the international community on edge since president putin got parliament's okay to send troops into ukraine. right now nato ambassadors are meeting on the crisis here in the u.s. secretary of state john kerry has strong words. >> it's an incredible act of aggression. it is really a stunning, willful choice by president putin to invade another country. >> he called it an invasion. now, the talks shift to how to calm everything down before it
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escalates even more. we have live coverage around the world. michelle kosinski is live at the white house. mcclove lynn and ian lee live in ukraine's capital city, kiev. this hour the white house trying to add to pressure on russia. president obama reaching out to allies by phone one day after he spent 90 minutes on the phone with the russian president vladimir putin. u.s. correspondent michelle kosinski joins us now. michigan, the white house, what is the mood? what are they saying? >> it has been a busy weekend. president obama has been actively working on this today. he's been briefed by his security team. as you mentioned, later on he'll take calls with allies. the uk, poland and lithuania. earlier today, secretary of state john kerry making the rounds doing interviews and using very strong words. yesterday he called russia's actions an invasion, occupation. today an incredible brazen act of aggression. he said these are not the
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actions of a g-8 nation. if it persists, other nations won't participate in the g-8 meeting in russia. some lawmakers have been calling for a stronger response because already we've seen the u.s., canada and now the uk pull out of the preliminary meetings leading up to the g-8. why not something like immediate sanctions. today kerry said that is a possibility that none of that is off the table. we could very well see things like asset freezes and visa bans imposed against russia in the near future. here is another clip from kerry. >> i think all options are on the table. there's no question but that russia needs to understand this is serious. this is a time for diplomacy. nobody wants this to spiral into a bad or worse direction. >> he really didn't mince words. you don't just invade a country under what he called a trumped up pretext of protecting your own people in that country as
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russia has said it is doing in ukraine. kerry said now is the time for diplomacy. russia has many options available to it other than what it has been doing. if this continues, there will be serious diplomatic repercussions, deb. >> michelle, you hear him say this the time for diplomacy. yet the impact on the u.s., because of its allies, european union, which gets a lot of its natural gas from russia and travels through the ukraine, the conversation the president is having, is he trying to build a coalition? is he simply trying to get everybody on the same page about what this diplomacy might look like? are they going to shut russia out? >> the isolation of russia is really the main repercussion that everyone has been talking about now. nations will choose -- already as we said, not to participate in preliminary meetings with the g-8. just picture it, if russia holds
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the g-8 in sochi, that's a big deal for it on the world stage, if countries like the u.s. do not show up to that, that would be impactful, considered harmful to russia. of course all of this is harming diplomatic relations. to by getting together with allies and talking about what can be done, for example, organizing sanctions against russia, sure, it does make a much bigger impact. will that affect russia's behavior in that's another question. deb. >> absolutely. especially coming off the winter olympics and also the paralympics taking place. michelle kosinski there at the white house. thanks so much. canada is adding to the pressure on russia. prime minister stephen harper recalling his ambassador to moscow and following washington's lead by spending relations in sochi. mr. harper said escalation could lead to ongoing negative
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consequences for canada's relationship with russia. now to belgium meeting on the crisis in ukraine. outside nato headquarters. erin, do we know what's going on in these meetings, what meaningful action russia is considering taking? >> reporter: hi, deb. we're waiting to hear some sort of statement from this morning's meeting. so far officials here in brussels looking to calm things down, to ease some of these tensions. the north atlantic council, which is the primary decision making body for nato met for over four hours today comprised of 28 ambassadors. ukraine was the topic of discussion. we're still, as i mentioned, waiting for a statement out of that the nato secretary-general had this to say before those meetings began. take a listen. >> what russia is doing now in ukraine violates the principles
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of the united states charter. it threatens peace and security in europe. russia must stop its military activities and its threats. today we will discuss their implications for european peace and security and for nato's relationship with russia. currently under way a meeting of the nato ukraine commission. that is at the request of ukrainian officials. the commission was actually established in 1997. it was designed to improve ukraine's defense capabilities as well as strengthen ties between kiev and western europe. so that meeting currently under way. we don't have a timetable as to when that will end. we do expect ukrainian ambassador to speak here in brussels following that meeting. so far the messaging coming out of brussels is one of easing
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tensions, calming things down as well as establishing a nato support for ukraine's sovereignty. deb. >> thank you so much, erin. hopes ukrainian people turning so suddenly with this invasion by russia. we'll check back with you later on. ukraine isn't waiting for the white house to do something. u.s. mobilizing troops and calling up reservists. they have lost a crucial part of its power, the navy, which may have abandoned kiev. ian in the capital and joins me from there. ian, the navy, they seem to have sided with the russians. >> reporter: debra, this has been a lot of drama in kiev trying to figure out exactly what is going on. what we heard initially was that the ukrainian naval chief said he was defecting to the republic
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of crimea. this would be a big blow to the russian navy. later we found out from a member of parliament here in kiev that, in fact, he was dismissed from his position before he defected to the -- to crimea. what we're hearing from the parliamentarian, he ordered troops to step down alertness level limiting their capabilities. the troops realizing what was going on informed the defense minister. he investigated the situation and relieved the navy chief of his command. then the navy chief then defected over to the quote, unquote, republic of crimea, what it's been called now. before that happened a new naval chief was put in place. this is what we're hearing from the parliament. it's hard to tell who exactly is
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telling us the truth at this moment, because you just get so much going on here. it does bring into question the readiness of ukrainian forces. we are being painted a picture of a united military force. that is what the ukrainian military is saying. when you have a high level defection you have to hear both sides. >> one ukraine, the new one in kiev and the new one in crimea. both of them seem to be fighting for theirs. ian lee, thank you. appreciate that. despite tough talk, the u.s. doesn't seem to have many options in the ukraine. we're going to be speaking to someone who came back from kiev. he says the real problem is growing paranoia in that man, vladimir putin and the kremlin.
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folks in california got a lot of rain which they desperately needed because of the severe drought tlchl the heavy rain also caused mudslides in creeks to overflow. that's how four hikers got stranded eight hours yesterday at malibu state creek park. it took more than 30 rescuers to save those four hikers. a chopper immediately spotted the hikers early this morning. getting them was not easy. it was pitch black like what you're seeing right there. the creek was swollen and the water rising. rescuers used flashlights on their helmets to search and find the hikers. fortunately no one of the hikers or rescuers was hurt. developing, a major winter storm that could hit 106 million people. take a look at that sweeping
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across the country. that's the satellite from nasa. you can see the monster storm covering half the united states. it's impact with freezing snow, rain, and ice for folks in the midwest, southeast and northeast. our meteorologist karen maginnis has more. >> deb, it is the winter weather we're so weary of but it's just not giving up. in the forecast we take you a brought sweep across the country, arklatex, mississippi river valley, ohio river valley, mid-atlantic, portions of new england as the area of low pressure treks along the frontal system in new york, washington, d.c., philadelphia, richmond, virginia, outer banks of north carolina. this is what we're looking at in the midwest where we're tracking that storm and the icy roads from kansas city into the boot hill of missouri stretching over
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towards memphis. then by monday look how much snow. new york city, two to five, washington, d.c., five to ten? any little adjustment as to the placement of that area of low pressu pressure. ice is the big issue. for airports, treacherous, the bull's eye right here in the city of memphis over the next 24 hours. temperatures unbelievably cold. as much as 20 degrees apolo normal with daytime highs in new york only in the mid-20s. back to you. >> all right. bundle up and get those supplies. karen maginnis. i wanting to to you, this bad ice storm hitting in a couple hours. do you see a lot of preparation or people going and getting
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groceries, hunkering down for what they are going to be hit with? >> deb, certainly. not to overuse the cliche but the phrase, the calm before the storm, what is we're seeing right now. this place right now where you see the snowplows back there, no activity now. but in the next several hours as conditions deteriorate, we expect a lot of plows to move. they have 170 snowplows in louisville, kentucky, area to deal with the snow. i want to show you what's behind me. that's not snow, a lot of salt. this is they will use to clear the highways. what they are expecting over the we know louisville could get up to eight inches of snow. they are saying this could be a
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strong storm system for them. they are making preparations. >> a lot of kids hoping for a snow day. a lot of people affected by this. there has been tough talk from the white house on ukraine. what options does president obama really have? up next we're going to hear from someone who faced the russians before at the negotiating table. [ male announcer ] did you know
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we are waiting for nato secretary-general to read a statement there in brussels belgium. when he does that, we'll bring that to you live. right now we'll turn to experts watching the situation. tough talk in the white house on the ukraine crisis really doesn't seem to be having much of an impact. russia appears to be in control of crimea, the ukrainian prime minister said it is a declaration of war splitting the ukrainian country. president obama reaching tout allies while he scrambles to figure out what is the next move for the united states. let me bring in editor from new remust be and retired brigadier general and former senior offense attache in moscow.
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president obama and president putin spoke for an hour and a half last night. was there anything substantive that came out of this conversation? >> i read the readouts of -- both the white house readout of the call and the kremlin readout call, my impression is two men talking past epa other. president obama not going to g-8 and ultranationalists using power in a legitimate way in kiev. when i asked a senior white house official if the two men were, in fact, talking past each other, the official told me my characterization isn't far off. that doesn't give you very much hope, does it? >> definitely not. that means each side entrenched in what they see as the right thing. with putin that raises serious questions. in terms of what's going on with the military, ukrainian military did not respond to that invasion in the south in crimea. do you think that would have escalated the situation even
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beyond what it is now? >> well, it certainly would have been a bad decision based on crimea, ukrainian units there. they would have been overwhelmed by a larger force. russians would have killed ukrainian and ukrainians would have killed russians and that would be worse. >> when you look at both sides, can ukrainian military that inherited an era of soviet russians, can they go up against the russians, especially since the russians are so entrenched in the area and the black sea fleet is there. >> i think in terms of crimea, the situation is established and can't be changed by ukrainian
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military action. there are a couple of ukrainian units stationed in the crimea but they are basically surrounded at this point. in terms of eastern ukraine, i think that the ukrainian military, even though it is a professional and capable and effective military is much too small to outlast a much larger russian military. the ukrainian military is in a very bad position vis-a-vis russia. russia can do what it wants if it elects to do so. >> i'm going to ask both of you this. julie, i'm going to start with you. the order which allowed putin to send troops in there after the fact, that's a different story, not only authorized force in the crimea but also in all of ukraine. what does that suggest to you? >> to me it suggests that this might not be over with just the ceasing of the crimea. if you look, for example, at what russia today, the kremlin
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propaganda channel, english language kremlin propaganda channel is reporting today, they are reporting southern and eastern ukrainian city councils are not recognize whag they say is an illegitimate government in kiev. there was a map doing around the internet today about -- marking all the places in the ukraine where cities had raised russian flags. you see the entire south and the entire east. i'm sure putin is watching this in the kremlin and licking his lips. i don't think it's going to stop with the crimea. unfortunately given what has happened leading up to this in syria, in other places in the world, putin knows he can basically take eastern ukraine from kiev and not be punished for it. western leaders not showing up to the g-8, i think that's a
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price he's very much willing to pay. if anything, it feeds into this paranoid vision he's foisting onto the russian people that the west is out to get him, the west is out to get russian people wherever they are. i think unfortunately he's pretty much checkmated the west? >> general, the question to you then playing off what julia just said, first of all, america clearly not looking particularly strong based on historical president standing up to russia. also do you potentially see russia as an exing crimea. if so, what does that mean to u.s. interest? why does this matter to the united states. >> well, the an exing of crimea, either outright or say by virtue of the crimea declaring some sort of independence from the ukraine and then creating
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special relationship with russia, in either case, it really doesn't threaten the united states in any way ornate in a direct military, strategic sense. the problem is what russia is doing is establishing foot holds if we look back to western georgia and now potentially into crimea, there are other disputed areas in moldova, eastern soviet union, et cetera, et cetera. this is a kind of slow creep that could be happening on behalf of the russians. >> quick -- go ahead, julia. >> one thing i wanted to mention, this isn't coming out of nowhere. not only putin but many russians and soviets of his generation don't really believe in these borders. there are people in eastern ukraine that don't believe
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ukraine is a real government. there are people who believe it's a huge generation that believes russia, belarus and ukraine are really all one country and they have been artificially split in the post soviet era. i don't want to get crazy here. >> they can't get over it. they can't get over the breakup is what you're saying. >> it's not the breakup. they don't feel this way about kazakhst kazakhstan, they feel this way by belarus, united by language, religion, culture. >> thank you so much. we appreciate your time. we'll check back with you a little later on. thanks so much. president obama has been working the phones. he's been talking to vladimir putin, now calling u.s. allies looking for support. we're live from moscow and ukraine coming up next. we're getting ready.
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we're following all the new developments for you on the crisis in ukraine. president obama being briefed today by his national security team. he's also expected to call u.s. allies. in ukraine newly appointed navy chief accused of treason. today he declared loyalty to pro russian leaders of crimea and saying he's not going to take orders from capital city kiev, pro western. one day after he was appointed to the job by people in kiev. nato ambassadors meeting on the crisis. nato secretary-general said russia's actions are threatening peace and security in all of europe. today u.s. secretary of state john kerry described russia's actions sending troops into the
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peninsula as nothing more than just an invasion. that's called point-blank. ukraine calling it a declaration of war. all this happening while athletes from around the world prepare for paralympics in sochi, russia. paralympics, which include u.s., start on friday. cnn from every angle, correspondent bill black, correspondent in the crimea region of ukraine. go first to phil black in moscow. phil, what is the situation there in what are you hearing from the kremlin? >> the latest announcement from the kremlin, confirmation putin spoke with germany's chancellor angle, a merkel. these are two world leaders with testy conversations in the past. we don't know the german side but according to the kremlin putin made the point russian speaking cranians are under threat from ultranationalists in
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the country. he believes given the extraordinary situation russia's actions so far are entirely appropriate. meanwhile here in moscow, a big gesture of support for the president's actions getting involved militarily in kiev, some 20,000 people on the streets rallying in support of the russian government. in support they say of islamic brothers across the border. in ukraine smaller protest, 50 people or so who oppose the russia policy at the moment was broken up by police. they were arrested for violating public rules. >> what was incredible, the deposed president, there's a warrant out for his arrest now. his estimated net worth is $12 billion and he has no legitimate business except being a politician. he's now in russia. is there anything to the claim he remains legitimate ruler, two governments, one in kiev, one in
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crimea. is there any legitimacy to the fact he's the president of ukraine. >> i think the russian view of what took place in kiev is a democratically elected president and gocvernment was deposed. right wing nationalists, mainstream opposition and ur mean governments, even united states, conspired together to arrange overthrow of the democratically elected president. that said, russia has given shelter to form eer president. no claim to support him that he is the one true elected leader of ukraine. >> so interesting because the paralympics are taking place in sochi starting friday. we've got a lot of athletes in that region. quickly, any indication they are pulling out? >> nothing from the athletes so far but the british government
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indicated, david cameron, said he's not comfortable of british government traveling for paralympics. not as prestigious internationally as olympics were for vladimir putin. if this becomes a widespread snub of this event, that's not something he's going to appreciate. it could be a beginning of a more widespread sense of isolation for russia. we already know united states and britain again have already said they are pull out of the setup talks in sochi leading up to what is supposed to be the g-8 summit of world leaders in sochi in june. >> phil black in moscow, thank you so much. we're going to turn now to ukraine, crimea, there in the city of s city. you're there, saw things happening. tell us what you experienced. >> what we did was go to a base
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20 kilometers south of the capital of crimea. it's the base of the 36th brigade of the ukrainian army. what we saw there were hundreds of armed men in dark kbreen camouflage uniform surrounding this base of the 36th brigade. of course they don't have any insignia. their vehicles don't have license plates. you speak to anybody on the spot there and they will tell you these are russian troops. the russian troops are surrounding this base, where we saw ukrainian soldiers inside the gates, they are vowing not to give up. not to surrender to the forces on the outside. in the lapt afternoon we saw as many as 10 large military colored trucks arriving there bringing more reinforcements to forces on the outside. we assume, of course, they are russian forces. this is just one of three
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standoffs taking place outside ukrainian military installations involving these soldiers we presume are russian. now, we also saw civilians there. some older men bringing russian flags to voice their support for what we assume are russian forces saying that crimea should be a part of russia. there were also cranians there, women singing and praying for ukrainian soldiers inside the base, one woman saying we have sons the same age in the military, and we're very concerned for them. but there was not any violence. there's not even any violence among the crowd outside. but certainly a good deal of attention. debra. >> absolutely. ben wedeman, we're going to be checking in with you a little later on in the broadcast. so much we want to know, including whether ukraine will
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pull the lease it now gives to russia to actually be at that naval base. the situation in ukraine has washington's undivided attention. but what options, if any, does the administration have. we're going to explore the tough decisions its facing and that lie ahead. [ male announcer ] that's why there's ocuvite. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. ocuvite has a unique formula that's just not found in any leading multivitamin. help protect your eye health with ocuvite. ♪ aflac, aflac, aflac! ♪ [ both sigh ] ♪ ugh! ♪ you told me he was good, dude. yeah he stinks at golf. but he was great at getting my claim paid fast. how fast? mine got paid in 4 days. wow. that's awesome. is that legal? big fat no. [ male announcer ] find out how fast aflac can pay you
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we are heading to nato right
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now. take a listen to the secretary-general. >> nato allies have a agreed a statement which sets out our position. we condemn russia's military escalation in crimea. we express our grave concern regarding the authorization of the use on the russian federation on the territory of ukraine. military action, again, ukraine by forces of the russian federation, is a breach of international law. it contravenes principles of nato russia council and partnership for peace. russia must respect its obligations on the united states charter and the spirit and principles of the organization for security and cooperation in
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europe on which peace and stability in europe rests. we call on russia to deescalate tensions. we call on russia to honor all its international commitments, to withdraw its forces to its bases, and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in ukraine. we urge both parties to immediately seek a peaceful resolution through dialogue, through the dispatch of international observers under auspices of security council or oec. we emphasize the importance of an included political process in ukraine based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities, and the rule of law, which fulfills the
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democratic aspirations of the entire people. it's a valued partner of nato and founding member of the partnership for peace. nato allies will to support ukrainian sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and rights of ukraine people to determine their own future without out interference. we have just met in the nato ukraine commission at ukraine's request, and we intend to engage with russia in the russia nato council. today nato made clear that we stand by ukraine as a valued
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partner and we stand by the norms and principles of international law. and with that i'm ready to take your questions. >> is there any country that considers the option of demanding article 4 activation because of the threat to civility and peace in europe, and the initial step. >> no one has requested to activate article 4 at this stage. obviously we have ongoing confrontations, nato allies consult on a daily basis. >> what does it mean -- >> that was the
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secretary-general of nato saying that, in fact, he wants russia to honor the commitments and withdraw its forces which are now spread out through crimea to withdraw back to the base where it belongs and the only place it is authorized to be. chief national security court jim sciutto joins us from new york. jim, what are the options for the united states and what are the interests that signify that the u.s. should be involved? >> lets start with options first. secretary kerry was actually very explicit, more explicit than any administration officials have been so far in public about what is on the payable here. we heard in the last couple of days this idea of not going to sochi g-8 conference but kerry went further. he said for one, mentioned the possibility of expelling russia from g-8 entirely. that's a bigger step than just not showing up at their
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conference in sochi. that's a big step on the table. he also mentioned asset freezes of russian businesses and banks. this is interesting. senator bob corker, republican senator discussing measures considered on capitol hill. he mentioned this kind of thing, too, sanctioning russianentities and individuals. remember, russian businesses do a lot of business through the international financial markets, concentrated in new york and london. if you could cut off some of that, deny access to major companies, oil exporters for a time, that would hit russia right in the pocketbook. that's a very powerful tool that secretary kerry mentions they are considering. also mentioned possibility of u.s. businesses pulling back. the big picture, as u.s. officials have been telling us last 72 hours, all diplomatic and economic. no one is talking about military measures as of yet. >> all right. we've got so much we want to talk to you about. we're going to come back to you
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later on in the show. we want to find out why ukraine didn't see this coming and for all intents and purposes u.s. didn't see it coming either. we're going to a break. see you on the other side. >> sometimes i have long days and get back to the hotel late. sometimes i started singing and got caught up in it, singing for
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an hour. a pne call from the frt desk. usually they are a bit perplexed. they are like, somebody has been worried that there's somebody singing. ukraine kraenz ukrainian ukrainians ukrainian ukrainians.
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more than 100 million people are bracing for yet another major winter storm. satellite photo says it all. where is the united states? you can see the storm. well, most of the country has disappeared beneath it. it already has proven deadly in denver and minnesota. now folks from the midwest and northeast are preparing hopefully for the rest. in philadelphia, alexandra, this has been a coast-to-coast nightmare. has it started where you are? >> it's a never ended might mare this winter, deb. we are seeing a little bit of rain we know is going to turn into snow and sleet. plenty of reasons to complain. in philadelphia more snow than boston and new york and, yes, even more on the way. >> mudslides, a major avalanche, 100 car pileup.
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a wild mix of weather across the country right now potentially impacting millions coast-to-coast. >> i'm not really looking forward to the snowstorm coming up. >> it's all too familiar for road crews, an incoming winter storm. snowplows across the country are on stand by waiting for this round of winter weather to hit. people aren't taking any chances with this storm. popular items like milk and bread are in short supply at this grocery store. the mad rush of people stocking up before the storm leading to long lines at the checkout counter. snow on the ground has already led to a couple of fright think scenes. this is an avalanche in montana. the snow knocked a home completely off its foundation. rescue crews and neighbors used chainsaws, shovels, bare hands to free the people trapped inside. >> the people are showing up with shovels and we all just jumped in behind the house and started shoveling the snow out
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of the way. >> three people, including an eight-year-old boy were found and rushed to the hospital. in colorado, check out this chaos on the interstate. more than 100 vehicles caught up in a series of crashes on a denver highway all because of slick conditions. >> everything was fine. we weren't going that fast. then everything went out of control. >> one person died, more than a dozen hospitalized. the road closed for hours while crews cleaned up the mess. but some were able to have fun in the snow. playing outdoors in chicago, soldier field was transformed into an ice rink so blackhawks could host pittsburgh penguins. more than 60,000 fans braved 17 degree weather, blistery wind and snow to watch the home team win 5-1. it's not snow but rain causing havoc in california. check out what the choppy surf did to boats in pacific ocean 1,
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a. high winds and heavy rains led to powerful waves. one powerful enough to crash into this restaurant. seawater soaked the inside of the building. windows were smashed, the patio flooded. the owner says some of its employees were hit by the wave. >> one of the fellas was taken down the walkway in front of the windows. he went through the door to the patio that had just been washed out by that same wave. >> reporter: everyone who got hurt is expected to be okay. so many people waiting for spring to finally come. this city has seen about five feet of snow this winter. by this time tomorrow we should be able to say 5 1/2 feet. we'll go to a break and have much more on the newsroom after that. get 4 lines on at&t's network... including unlimited talk unlimited text ...and 10 gigs of data to share. 10 gigs? 10 gigs. all for $160 dollars a month. you know, i think our family really needed this. it's really gonna bring us closer together. yep.
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